Island Hopping for the Holidays

Trip Start Feb 23, 2006
Trip End Jun 24, 2009

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

More planning gone awry. Our hotel reservations on Phi Phi got a little messed up and we were only booked into 1 night instead of 2 and the rooms could only fit 2 people instead of 3.  Apparently, 1 night on PP was enough though.  The girls had spoken and voted us off the island, which is a shame because the natural beauty of PP was still intact, but with 3 abstaining votes (experienced men), the decision was unanimous.  We were going to Lanta early.  I can't say that I blame them.  With the exception of 1 set of bungalows and a chilled out bar on the beach, the rebuild of PP after the Tsunami pretty much sucked!  The Lonely "Bastard" once again is wrong about post tsunami responsible development.  I can't believe 2 years of rebuilding could yield such a monster so vastly more developed than my first visit to PP in 1991.  There was a sign at reception that said, "We are not responsible for construction noise of nearby.  No refunds."  So we packed up and took the first ferry to Lanta where we checked back into luxury at the Twin Lotus Resort & Spa.  Our first night here was great!  They didn't have a deluxe room available, so Brian and Antonia got a 1 bedroom suite with a separate living room with a very comfortable bed.... I mean couch.  Needless to say, I didn't bother getting my own place, but managed to book a room for the next few days a few hundred meters down the beach.  I thought it'd be nice to rent some motorbikes and explore the rest of this huge island, so we went into town to try to get some bikes, but because it was New Year's Eve, peak season, almost everyone was sold out.  Steve walked into one place and said, "how ya doing?"  What happened next was just about the funniest thing I've ever seen.  Forgive me if I'm wrong, but Steve by any account is a pretty big dude weighing in about 230lbs and over 6ft tall.  A young girl that obviously didn't speak any English was sitting at the desk when we came in.  She slowly stood up as if she'd just seen a King Cobra walk in afraid that it might strike, cautiously backed away and when she was out of striking distance, turned and ran away screaming for her mom. Even funnier though was that no one ever came out to see us.  They just hid in the back.  As I bent over laughing my ass off, I go to Steve, "you'd better let me handle this". 

We finally manage to get 3 bikes between the 5 of us and headed down to Bubble Jungle on Long Beach.  Wow!  The beach and water there are so much better than on Klong Dao.  I immediately dove in for a swim to cool off.  It was pretty late in the afternoon already so we didn't get to spend much time here.  Unfortunately, I found out the hard way there was a helmet law on Lanta that is not normally enforced.  But of course, on this day, the police realized that they were a bit short on the budget forecast this year and needed some revenue for the office New Year's party.  It wasn't so much the 200B fine, but the hour that it took to process the paperwork.  They must have had 20 people all in a que waiting to pay their 200B, but only 1 officer to write out the tickets in triplicate.  Thai efficiency or NOT.

While we had dinner, I saw our favorite watering hole, Mook's Andabar filling up quickly, so I asked Mook to save us 6 seats in the comfy chairs on the beach. Since we'd been there basically every night, he had no problem reserving a prime spot for us even though none of our party was there yet.  He actually turned people away telling them he was full.  Our first night on Lanta we drank him out of Chang beers.  Mook, the bar owner, actually told us that we drank too much.  You don't hear that very often from a purveyor of spirits.  You'd think that he'd order more Changs for us on NYE, but we managed to drink him out of beers again.  There's a strange thing that happens with Chang.  One night you can have a ton of Chang and you'll be fine, the next night you could have like 2 Changs and be wrecked.  There's a rumor that they put amphetamines in the beer, but I don't know if there's any truth to it or not.  But judging by Brian's marathon sessions with Chang, I think there may just be some truth to it.  I cashed in my chips early around 2 or 3am, but Brian and Antonia were out 'til 6:30am New Year's Day and he was up and running around like the Energizer Bunny by noon.  It was hilarious, Brian wouldn't stop moving.  You could see the outline of bunny ears and a drum as he came down to the pool with a beer, started moving furniture, ordering food, disappearing with the maid, cannon balling Colleen (in the pool).... :-)  Alright, I know this entry is too long.  The End.
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